India will take on Australia in the final of the U19 World Cup 2024 at Benoni on Sunday, February 11. Both teams are coming into the game on the back of thrilling wins in the semi-final.
Despite being in the doldrums early on, India managed to chase down the target of 245 against South Africa and won the game by two wickets. Australia’s chase of 180 against Pakistan was even closer, with the Aussies winning with just one wicket in hand.
Both India and Australia are unbeaten in the tournament and will be high on confidence after their morale-boosting semifinal triumphs. However, if Uday Saharan and in his boys want to win a staggering sixth U19 World Cup title for India, they will need to keep a close eye on some players from the opposition and ensure they don’t dominate.
On that note, let’s take a look at three Australian players that India need to be wary of if they want to win the final on Sunday:
#3 Harry Nixon
The top three players on the highest run-scorers chart are all Indians. However, Australia’s Harry Nixon is fifth on the list and is someone who has set the tone for his team in almost every game he has played.
In six matches this tournament, Nixon has scored 267 runs at an impressive average of 44.50 with three half-centuries to his name. One of those fifties came in the semi-final against Pakistan and that arguably proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Australia will want Nixon to get going one more time and put the opposition under pressure in the final.
#2 Callum Vidler
Another pacer who has been making waves at the U19 World Cup with his pace and swing is Australia’s Callum Vidler. He has been fantastic in the tournament so far with 12 wickets from five games.
Arguably Vidler’s most impressive performance came against arch-rivals England where he picked up four wickets for just 29 runs. India have some fine stroke makers in their top order but will need to find a way to ensure Vidler doesn’t give Australia early breakthroughs
#1 Tom Straker
Callum Vidler is level on 12 wickets with Tom Straker as the highest wicket-taker for Australia in the U19 World Cup 2024. His performance against Pakistan in the semifinal makes him arguably the biggest threat to India.
Straker won the Player of the Match for his stunning figures of 6/24 and just blew away the Pakistan batters. India have already had a taste of a batting collapse in the semifinal and will know that the combination of Vidler and Straker will be a dangerous one up top. The duo will also be miserly with both having an economy rate of under four in the tournament.
Straker in particular will have his tail up after the semifinal performance and will be gunning to potentially run through another batting line-up this U19 World Cup.